P&O Cruises unveil plans for Iona

Two months ago, P&O Cruises outlined the line’s plans for the future following the name-reveal of their newly announced ship, Iona. The new 183,900 gross tonne ship is set to launch in 2020 and will offer cruises out of the UK to a range of destinations around the world while also providing passengers with a unique range of contemporary amenities. The news of the line’s newest vessel was followed by an announcement that the line’s oldest and currently smallest ship will be leaving the fleet in August 2019.

This month, P&O Cruises has unveiled brand new details of what guests will be able to expect on board this exciting new vessel and how the ship will paint a vision of the line’s future. Offering capacity for 5,200 passengers, she will be by far the largest cruise ship ever to be built for a British market. For comparative purposes, the current newest vessel and flagship of the fleet, Britannia, which launched in 2014, offers capacity for a maximum of 3,647 passengers.

One of the most noticeable new features is the SkyDome, which will be the centre of the entertainment taking place onboard the ship. Situated on decks 16 and 17, the venue will feature a giant roof and a pool with a retractable stage. Award-winning British engineers will be working on the design of the glass-domed roof and will help bring it to life. Eckersley O’Callaghan, the firm which worked on glass structures including London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique, will be tasked with building the exciting venue.

Senior Vice President for P&O Cruises, Paul Ludlow, described the SkyDome as a “magical venue with views of the ocean by day and starry skies at night.” Adding to this, he said: “It will be an exciting home to aerial performers who will make the most of the amazing space as well as guest DJs and current performers setting the tone for memorable evenings of music and dancing under the sparkling glass dome.”

Other impressive venues throughout the ship will include the grand atrium, which will feature a stunning spiral staircase and panoramic views out to sea. Much like the influences behind the decision of Iona’s name, which is based on the ability to see the sea from almost every part of the Scottish island of the same name, will also be present on the ship. Speaking of this factor, Ludlow said: “We’ve set out to make sure the sea is the star on Iona, and the design of the grand atrium tells you so much about how special she is going to be.”

Guests will also be able to enjoy amenities including a four-screen cinema and a hidden nightclub known as the 710 Club, which will offer an atmosphere similar to a cocktail and live music bar you may find within Covent Gardens.

There will be up to 30 onboard dining venues to choose from, offering the largest selection of places to eat and drink on a ship specifically designed for the British market. Self-service and takeaway venues will also be available in addition to traditional dining venues, with options including Asian street food and American diner classics. Popular venues present across other ships in the fleet include The Glass House wine and food bar, the formal Epicurean, and the Indian speciality restaurant Sindhu.

Iona marks the beginning of an exciting new direction for P&O Cruises, with more space, more dining venues and more entertainment options available than ever before. With the market for cruising continuing to expand, there really has never been a better opportunity to become a part of it all. With GoCruise, you can own and operate your own franchise business, earning commission on every booking you secure.

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